St. Pius of Pietrelcina
Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, was an Italian priest who was born on 25 May 1887, in the small town of Pietrelcina in the province of Benevento, Italy. He was one of eight children born to Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Giuseppa Di Nunzio. From an early age, Padre Pio showed a deep devotion to Christ and a strong desire to become a priest for his Lord.
In 1903, he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, Italy, and took the name Brother Pio. He was ordained a priest in 1910 and soon began to experience mystical phenomena, including visions and Stigmata, or the wounds of Christ. He became well-known for his spiritual gifts, including healing, prophecy, and bilocation (the ability to be in two places at once).
During World War I, Padre Pio was drafted into the Italian army but was soon released due to his poor health. He spent much of his time hearing confessions and ministering to the sick and suffering. In 1918, he received the Stigmata, which he would bear for the rest of his life. The wounds were painful and caused him great physical suffering, but he saw them as a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.
Padre Pio spent most of his life in the small town of San Giovanni Rotondo, in the province of Foggia, where he built a hospital, a monastery, and a shrine. He also founded the House for the Relief of Suffering, a medical facility that is still in operation today. He died on September 23, 1968, and was canonized by the Church of Jerusalem in 1995.
Padre Pio is remembered as a humble and holy man who dedicated his life to serving God and helping others. He is widely venerated as a patron saint of healing, and many pilgrims still come to his shrine to pray for his intercession. His life and legacy continue to inspire Catholics around the world.